Founded in 1928, Interlochen Center for the Arts (ICA), sits on its scenic Michigan campus. Inspired by generations of artists, students study music, theatre, visual arts, film, creative writing and dance. The new studio addition takes its cues from the Kresge Auditorium, a mid-century outdoor amphitheater seating 4,000 with its sculptural roof and exposed wood and steel structure.
The shape of the roof celebrates the movement of dance as it gestures towards the lake. The ICA has been compared to a snow globe. Morrissey, ICA’s Director of Dance said, “You know, when you’re a kid, you look at the snow globe, you see the dancers in there. That’s, in a way, what we feel like because the outside has really come in.” With high ceilings, the new studio combines a new addition with ICA’s Hildergarde Lewis Dance Building, which was constructed in the 1950s. Morrissey believes that “dancers dance much better when they feel more free to do so, when they are unlimited.” He imagines the building has provided “limitless opportunities and options for dancers to literally soar.” The Dance Center has four new studios with sprung-wood Marley flooring, professional barres, theatrical lighting grids, state-of-the-art sound systems, and air conditioning. The three studios on the upper-level have 16-foot ceilings, while the studio on the lower-level has an 11-foot ceiling.
All four studios have glass walls that are visible from the Dance Center’s main lobby, allowing visitors to watch rehearsals without disrupting the class. George Loheac, a junior ballet student from New Jersey said “dance is all about the body’s movements in space and time, the chemistry, the symmetry of the building. The design of it gives me a sense that I’m dancing in an open space of nature.”